Microchip introduces new standard of enhanced code security

27th November 2023
Sheryl Miles

With an increasing number of everyday items, from mobile phones and vehicles to smart thermostats and home appliances, being connected to the Cloud, the importance of advanced security measures at the chip level is paramount.

To address this, Microchip Technology has launched the PIC18-Q24 Family of Microcontrollers (MCUs).

Combatting security threats with PDID

The PIC18-Q24 MCUs introduce the Programming and Debugging Interface Disable (PDID) feature to counter the threat of devices being maliciously reprogrammed in embedded systems. When activated, this enhanced code protection feature aims to block unauthorised access to the programming/debugging interface and prevent unauthorised reading, modification, or erasure of firmware.

Greg Robinson, Corporate Vice President of Microchip’s 8-bit MCU business unit, stated: “System security is only as strong as its weakest link. Any programmable component can be vulnerable, and it is essential to implement enhanced protection features to prevent potential hacks. The PIC18-Q24 family of MCUs from Microchip are designed with advanced security in the forefront, to help customers combat threats at the system’s foundation.”

Multi-Voltage I/O for diverse system connectivity

The PIC18-Q24 MCUs feature Multi-Voltage I/O (MVIO), which allows the MCUs to interface with digital inputs or outputs operating at different voltages, eliminating the need for external level shifters. This feature not only reduces board complexity and Bill of Material (BOM) cost but also makes the MCUs particularly suited as system management processors. They can perform monitoring and telemetry for a larger processor, tasks often targeted by hackers attempting to access embedded systems.

The PIC18-Q24 family also includes the option for an immutable bootloader, catering to applications requiring a secure method to upgrade firmware. More information is available on Microchip’s PIC MCU webpage.

Development Tools PIC18-Q24 MCUs are supported by Microchip’s development ecosystem and are designed to integrate with the MPLAB Code Configurator (MCC).

The PIC18F56Q24 Curiosity Nano Evaluation Kit (EV01E86A) offers complete support for designing with the PIC18-Q24 family, facilitating a seamless embedded development experience and reduced time to market.

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